Kindness is a very homely virtue. This is using the word 'homely' in the British sense of belonging to the home — a very commonplace, ordinary virtue. And kindness is indeed ordinary; it is as ordinary as salt.
At the same time, it is as vital and as essential as salt. Salt enhances other flavors and seasonings; likewise kindness puts flavor into all the other virtues. Without kindliness, there is no virtue in the other virtues; without it they are insipid and tasteless; or worse, they degenerate into vices.
Love, joy, peace, good temper — without kindliness, these are very doubtful virtues. To grow in kindliness is to grow in virtues that are flavored with a certain spirit. The spirit of kindliness pervades everything.
A little boy explained the difference between kindness and loving-kindness this way: "Kindness is when your mother gives you a piece of bread and butter, but it is loving-kindness when she puts jam on it as well."
Jesus expressed it this way: "Treat one another with the same spirit as you experience in Christ Jesus" Not merely the same actions, but the same spirit in the actions as was in Jesus' actions. This is the high water of morality in this universe. Beyond this the human race will not, and cannot, progress. This is character and conduct ultimate. This gives kindness a plus—an infinite plus.
Thus, kindness is not mere maudlin sentimentality. Kindness is a vital, must-have ingredient of all we do. To be kind to a person is to care for the person.
That's what we emphasize in our Care and Kindness mission:
Care AND Kindness!
The two are so much the same and they do go together. I have seen people who actually care for another, and yet they fall short on showing kindness. On the flip side, it is pretty hard to show kindness without actually caring.
Be kind to everyone. Demonstrate in your daily living that you care what happens to people around you.
Grow in your kindliness.